Sibal targets 30% GER in higher education by 2020

Human Resource Development
Minister Kapil Sibal has said that the aim of the ministry is to double the existing
Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) which is presently 15% by 2020. The move aims to triple
enrolments in the tertiary sector from around 13 million to 40 million. This
will entail massive capacity building, both institutional as well as human.
Besides enhancing the quantum of teachers and faculty in colleges and
universities we have also to improve their quality. He was speaking at the inaugural
function of the 98th Indian Science Congress at SRM University, Chennai. 

The minister has said that rising
lower middle class group and women is increasing the demand for higher
education thereby creating an urgent need of more universities, centres of
excellence and training institutes.

The minister said, “The growing
demand for higher education will necessitate many more universities and
colleges to be opened in the years to come which are estimated minimum doubling
over the next decade. We must also broaden our skills base beyond a few centres
of excellence and foster innovation on a national scale. We need to create and
enhance our competitive edge. For this to happen, quality and merit-based
education for the entire population is a must.”  

Sibal has also announced
three generic
principles that any new institute of higher education needs to embrace. First, providing
access to educational opportunities to all who desire and need it; second,
affordability by reducing financial barriers; and third, building quality and
accountability to ensure that what is taught is relevant and at global levels,
delivering good value for money. 

He assured that a quality
assurance system will be in place and that will provide a common frame of
reference for students and others to obtain credible information on academic
quality across institutions, domestic as well as international. 

A National Commission for Higher
Education and Research (NCHER) will be set up to regulate higher education. An
Education Finance Corporation will also be set up to give educational loans to
deserving and needy students the corporation will also provide funds to
non-profit educational bodies.

Describing the strategy to realize the Vision of India
as an Innovation Hot Spot, Sbal said India will enter into academia-industry
collaborative relationships to promote research development. It will also seek
to forge agreements between Indian and foreign entities to set up research and
innovation centres. He said government is also planning to give tax incentives
to businesses that collaborate with academia and R&D researchers are





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